How Divorce Has Changed in the COVID-19 Era

The divorce rate in the United States sits at nearly 50%… and the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened to send that number even higher.

With couples forced to spend even more time together, many experts are predicting a surge in divorce filings once the pandemic begins to fade away.

But what if couples don’t want to wait that long? Divorce procedures – and court procedures, generally – have certainly changed significantly since the onset of the virus, and couples looking to file for divorce will have to adapt to a whole new set of considerations and protocols.

  1. Divorce Processes
    Just because many traditional proceedings have moved online, it doesn’t mean that divorce can’t happen. It just might look a little bit different.

    For example, while many offices are still functioning, their work has moved online (all or mostly). Where in-person court dates and proceedings may not be an option, Zoom conferences, phone meetings, and others may be a viable plan.

    However, it’s important to consider that due to large backlogs from early quarantine’s lockdown, there may be significant delays in scheduling any meetings or services.

  2. Custody Agreements
    In general, quarantine has kept family members, friends, and others apart. But what do divorced parents do about custody agreements for their kids when they’re separated between two locations?

    It certainly makes for a tricky situation, and its one that requires plenty of thought.

    While courts will most likely continue to rule on custody based on statutory best interest, many parents will likely have to agree on special provisions considering the nature of the pandemic.

    For example, parents may choose to utilize more virtual time over apps like FaceTime and Zoom.

  3. Financial Agreements
    COVID-19 has been hard on thousands of working Americans, many of whom have lost their jobs due to the economic fallout of the pandemic.

    For divorcing couples, this type of financial hardship becomes even more complicated.

    Couples facing these types of hardships will likely have to make special considerations when going through their divorce case.

    Issues like spousal or child support may need to be modified or revised in the interim while either or both parties seek stable employment and income.

Divorce in any case is a complex and painful issue; however, COVID-19 has only amplified them. To determine how to market your services during these difficult times, please contact Paul Herrmann at paul@pherrmannlaw.com or at 410-703-4993.




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